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Govt suspends reduced physical distance on public transport

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Malacanang said Thursday that the one-meter reduced physical distance rule on public transport has been suspended pending President Duterte’s decision on the issue.

(BULLETIN JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA)

Thus, the measure of physical distance on public transport will remain at one meter per passenger, said presidential spokesman Harry Roque, after Duterte ordered the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) for the Development of Infectious Diseases in Development to take another look at the decision. its to facilitate the distance measurement to 0.75 m after the withdrawal of medical frontliners.

Roque said Transport Secretary Arthur Tugade announced at an IATF meeting the suspension of the implementation of the new protocol as the body will present its recommendation to the President.

We will turn the distance one meter on public transport while the President has not yet decided whether it can be reduced to 0.75 (meter) (We will return to the physical distance of one meter on public transport because President Duterte has not yet made a decision if we can lower it to 0.75 meters), ”he said.

With that development, Roque said Duterte will not be able to make an announcement on Thursday, contrary to what he said Wednesday.

“This may not happen because the report that the President will study will only be submitted today (This may not happen today because the report that the President should study will only be submitted within the day),” he said. .

“We hope the President will make a decision on Monday in his next public address (We expect the President to announce his decision on Monday during his next public speech),” he added.

The IATF had earlier approved to reduce the measure of physical distance within public transport from one meter to 0.75 meters.

In an interview with CNN Philippines on Wednesday, Roque said there was actually no opposition from his members at the time.

“When the IATF approved it, there was no opposition, no controversy. “The controversy erupted again when medical teams pulled an issue out of it,” he said.

The Palace official, however, insisted that the IATF’s final decision and recommendation for Duterte was based on the doctors’ advice. He also said it was important to open up transport so people could go to work.

Over the weekend, Cabinet Secretary Carlo Nogales said the move to ease physical distance measures was a calibrated move and part of the government’s second phase of the National Action Plan to address COVID-19.

Under the second phase, the government will now balance on protecting public health and reviving the economy which took a hit due to the six-month blockade.

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